Back in May Patently Apple posted a report titled “Apple Wins Patent for the Mac Pro’s 3D Structural Design created for Maximum Airflow that could be used in a Future iPhone.” Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent application from Apple that fine-tunes that Patent’s claims to better reflect their technology and to protect it better against competition or patent trolls.
Since Apple is highlighting the high-end Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR in this patent application, the message would seem to be clear. The iPhone taking on this new aluminum body with spherical cavities would be considered an iPhone Pro.
With the vast majority of consumers wanting waterproofing as a priority, this design would be a disaster. Yet for the pro community, the priority would be to have an iPhone that could run a faster processor and have it run cooler.
Just as the Mac Pro distinguishes its design from the iMac, the iPhone Pro would be able to stand out as well by using a different material and cooling system.
Apple’s patent FIG. 3 below shows us a perspective view of an iPhone that takes on the construction design that is now being used for the all-new Mac Pro Tower and Display which is presented further below in patent FIGS. 2 and 9.
In respect to patent FIGs 4 and 6 above, Apple notes that the cross-brace #306 can include regions having the three-dimensional structure formed therein. According to this example, the cross-brace can be sufficiently strong to prevent deformation or deflection of the housing (#301), while adding little weight, due to the regions having the three-dimensional structure formed therein. Any number of components of an electronic device can include regions having the three-dimensional structure formed therein, either for structural enhancements, weight savings, or thermal energy transfer.
So, what did Apple update their patent with today? Basically 7 new patent claims emphasizing that the body would use a repeating pattern of spherical cavities; that the body material would be aluminum. The full 7 new patent claims are as follows below:
- An electronic device, comprising: a body having a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface; the body defining a pattern of repeating base units extending between the first surface and the second surface, each base unit comprising; a first spherical cavity on a first plane; a second spherical cavity on the first plane and at least partially intersecting the first spherical cavity; a third spherical cavity on the first plane and at least partially intersecting the first spherical cavity and the second spherical cavity; a fourth spherical cavity on a second plane, the fourth spherical cavity intersecting the first spherical cavity, the second spherical cavity, and the third spherical cavity to form a through hole passing between the first plane and the second plane.
- The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the pattern of repeating base units extends substantially across a length and a width of the body.
- The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the first spherical cavity, the second spherical cavity, the third spherical cavity, and the fourth spherical cavity are substantially a same size.
- The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the spherical cavities of the pattern of repeating base units are in a three-dimensionally close-packed arrangement.
- The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the body conducts heat away from a component positioned substantially adjacent to the second surface.
- The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the body comprises aluminum.
- The electronic device of claim 17, further comprising a fan disposed in the internal volume, the fan in fluid communication with the repeating pattern of multi-planar close-packed spherical cavities through the first set of apertures.
Apple’s patent application 20200245497 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in Q2 2020. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
An iPhone Pro seems to be slowly coming together. With a hot new aluminum body (without the Touch ID button of course) and Apple Pencil designed for the iPhone, granted to Apple on Tuesday, we have a nice start.
Where could a pro model go from there? Perhaps adding a nice new pro or smart case as presented below.
Apple filed continuation patent 20200244298 for the “Pro Case” that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office with some new tweaks. The main patent tweak made was adding a “touch pad” along with the keyboard.” You could check the patent out here.
Lastly, perhaps Apple could time it to when Apple Glasses first comes to market. That would be the ultimate – but that’s a story for another day.